If you are approaching 65 years old, this is the perfect time to start familiarizing yourself with Medicare lingo and Medicare’s many (ever-changing) features. As most are aware, Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to anyone turning 65 and consists of two parts:
- Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery, and home health care.
- Part B (Medical Insurance) covers doctor appointments, outpatient services, medical equipment, home health care, and some preventative services.
Many people are not aware that Medicare Part A and B do NOT cover drug prescriptions, dental, vision, hearing, or long-term care. This is where Medicare Supplements come in, also known as a Medigap plan. Medicare Supplement plans are sold by a private insurance company. They help to fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage.
What Is a Medigap Household Discount?
When you start getting quotes for Medigap plans, you might hear agents use the term “household discount”. This is a common way insurance companies discount their plans by giving a percentage off monthly premiums for meeting certain household criteria. Each insurance company’s discount and eligibility are different. It also varies by state, so contact your insurance agent to get more details about your area. Here are a few examples of carrier household discounts for the state of Texas:
- Cigna offers a 7% household discount for two individuals living in the same house (for at least a year) and who are both enrolled in a Cigna Medicare Supplement plan. Individuals do not need to be related to apply for the discount.
- Aetna Accendo Medicare Supplement offers a 14% household discount if you live with anyone over the age of 18 for at least a year. This individual does not have to be related or have any associated health coverage through Aetna.
- Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement offers a 12% household discount if you live with someone of ANY age (including children) for at least a year. No relation required.
From an Insurance Company’s perspective, the idea behind Medigap Household Discounts is that older adults who live alone are likely to have more insurance claims than those who live with someone. By rewarding people who choose to live with someone, the company saves money in the long run. Results from a study in the British Journal of General Practice support this notion that living alone in later life is seen as a potential health risk. “Older adults living alone are more likely to report poor health and vision, difficulties with basic activities of daily living (ADLs), worse memory and mood, lower physical activity, poorer diet, worsening function, risk of social isolation, hazardous alcohol use, having no emergency carer and multiple falls in the previous 12 months,” the study reports.
These health risks should be considered when making the decision to age in place alone. There are significant advantages to sharing housing as an older adult. Having a roommate saves money on shared expenses, like rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, including saving money on health insurance, like the household discount, for example. Furthermore, having a roommate can provide valuable companionship and help stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness common with seniors living alone.
Stay on top of your health. If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, such as What Is a Medigap Household Discount? call Empower today. Let us help with your Medicare questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most. 1-888-446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE